The noted historian and educator Louis Danielle frequently opined that "...societies should beware when tyrants seem to kiss." While prolific and insightful letter writer Terry Munson brings to light, accurately, copious self-serving activities (or lack thereof) interspersed with protracted periods of non-productive partisan rhetoric emanating from elected officials occupying both houses of Congress ("Schizophrenia requires colossal amounts of hypocrisy," July 28), the insinuation that partisanship and, indeed, tyranny is restricted to the political right represents its own form of neurosis.
On the surface, references to "lower deficits, declining unemployment and withdrawal from a war zone" would seem to represent, certainly, "good news." Let's apply some context, however. The relative term, "lower deficit," is applicable only to record budget deficits incurred throughout the term, to date, of the Obama administration.
While budget configurations are representative, of course, of Congressional delegation obligations, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office indicates, in irrefutable fashion, that the annual budget deficit accrual in each year since the election of President Obama has been larger than that of any previous year in recorded history.
Not unrelated, of course, is the resultant mind-numbing national debt figure, which is approaching $18 trillion and will have increased by several million dollars by the time readers have finished this piece.
Declining unemployment? One recalls a contention, unsupported by statistical analysis, prior to inauguration, when then President-elect Obama "guaranteed" an unemployment rate never again to exceed 8 percent. While the most current data suggests, in at least superficially encouraging fashion, a reduction to 6.1 percent in the national unemployment rate, the CBO further reports that the percentage of Americans actually employed to be at the lowest level since the 1970s.
It is difficult to envision those 284,000 Americans filing first-time unemployment claims last week (and the 303,000 filing the previous week, and the 305,000 filing the week prior to that — draw your own inferences) squealing with delight at this piece of "good news."
History will judge as to whether withdrawal from the war zone in question represents a positive outcome for this country and the world. The unintended consequences of foreign policy decisions by elected officials invariably unfold over a period of time, and represent fodder for subjective pundits in perpetuity.
Likewise, the suggestion that this country is "...doing better than ever" under the stewardship of our current roster of elected officials is hopelessly subjective and lacking substance, perhaps no more so than from the perspective of 46.2 million recipients of food stamps. There is nothing abstract regarding the perception of the figure 46.2 million — but the concept can be made abstract, to the level of absurdity, should one so inclined.
How about a million families, each comprised of 46 and one-fifth persons? Or, how about every single citizen residing within those states which begin with the letter "M"… plus another 10 million? In any event, should one stipulate, for purposes of conjecture, that each of those individuals and families comprising the 46,200,000 figure prefer a system of capitalism to one of socialism, reasonable extrapolation would cause one to draw the inference that each, now representative of a subset of the population that is mutually exclusive of those 51 percent of Americans who pay federal income taxes, might not, in fact, be "doing better than ever."
Dick Bigelow, the outstanding northeast-based motorsports editor, is an accurate and thorough journalist who often, by way of critique, sarcastically intones that "you can't allow the facts to interfere with a good story." The good professor Danielle, lecturing upon an era of history that remains incomplete, might resort to paraphrasing himself; quite possibly, something on the order of "Societies should beware when demagogues seem to walk amongst us."